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Coffepot Chatter: Wrapping Up Your GPS

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By Linda Parks

Tom: Hi Maria, Hi Harry. Hey, I just heard that since we are moving to a new GPS system for next year’s evaluation process, we don’t need to write goals.

Maria: That can’t be right.

Harry: No, Tom, I still want you and Maria to have goals for 2013.

Tom: Oh, darn.

Last month’s Coffeepot Chatter article covered the importance of the performance meeting. And while the conversation is the most important part of the performance appraisal process, it is not the end of the process. This month we’re discussing wrapping up GPS for 2012.

First, it’s important to remember that performance management is an ongoing process. For most of us, February at Lehigh means completing the Reviewing Results phase of GPS, or, finalizing the form for the previous calendar year. Whether you want to think about it or not, performance management is like the Energizer bunny – it keeps on going and going.

Don’t Keep Your Forms Hanging On!

Let’s talk about GPS form mechanics. Each year a fair number of forms get hung up in the performance meeting or signature steps because after the performance conversation has taken place, the form is forgotten. Forgotten forms are often sought after a year later when employees look for them in the Completed section of My Forms, but they aren’t there. 

This year (2013), it is particularly important that 2012 forms are moved to Complete given the pending transition to a new GPS provider. So the GPS campaign slogan for the first part of 2013 may be Leave No Form Left Behind!

Here are the steps you and your supervisor need to take to move the GPS form through to completion:

  1. The supervisor needs to move the form from the performance meeting step to the employee signature step.
  2. The employee then moves the form to the supervisor signature step. When this happens, the employee’s e-signature will auto fill on the form.
  3. The supervisor moves the form to Complete. When this happens, the supervisor’s e-signature will auto fill on the form.

And Now A Word About Goals

The next phase of the ongoing performance management cycle is Setting Expectations. Just because you can’t type 2013 goals into the 2012 forms doesn’t mean you don’t need to do them.

Most areas of the university identify organizational goals for the year which generally support the strategic plan. Individual goals are often in line with those departmental/stem goals. If you are uncertain about individual, department or stem goals, talk with your supervisor.

Goals for 2013 should be entered into GPS by using the My Goals tab. From the drop down menu labeled Switch Plan, select 2013 Goals and Objectives. Select the Create a New Goal button followed by the Personal Goal button. You now have three different types of goals from which to choose.

  • Performance Goal – A performance goal is a goal that directly relates to one of your key accountabilities. For example, a supporting activity for an HVAC Technician is to maintain air handlers. Let’s say in 2013, several air handling systems are being added or replaced. The technician’s involvement in that process would be the goal.
  • Special Projects – While the above performance goal may also sound like a special project; by the GPS definition of a special project, it is not. Special projects and assignments in GPS are work we do for the greater good of the University. If our HVAC technician served on a search committee, task force, BART or something similar; that is what he should list as a Special Project goal in GPS.
  • Developmental Goal – A developmental goal is a performance goal combined with workplace learning. If the HVAC technician needed to learn software to operate the new air handling system, that would be the developmental goal.

Two More Things

Since we anticipate moving to a new GPS provider in 2013, we strongly recommend you do two more things:

Print your completed 2012 GPS form and put it somewhere for safe keeping.
After you’ve entered your goals for 2013 in the My Goals tab, highlight your goals and copy and paste them into a Word document. Save it electronically. You can do this with the 2012 form as well if you’d like.

At present, HR isn’t exactly certain how the migration from one vendor to another will take place. Making electronic and/or hard copies of forms and goals is a “better safe the sorry” step.


As we learn more about this process, we will share that information with you – so stay tuned to Spotlight, LASER and the GPS Message Board. Meanwhile, I believe I have a developmental goal to start writing.

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to hik210@lehigh.edu, or call extension 85165.

Current and past issues of Spotlight can be viewed and searched at: Past Issues.